(COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO.) – Eight
U.S. boxers took home hardware from two international events in
Europe over the weekend. Team USA won three medals at the
Olympic Test Event in London, England and five American athletes
advanced to semifinal competition at the World Cup of Petroleum
Countries in Surgut, Russia. Both competitions took place
November 24-27 with different U.S. squads competing in the key
Flyweight Marlen Esparza (Houston, Texas) advanced to final
round action at the World Cup following two victories in Russia.
Esparza opened the tournament with a 21-16 win over
Nandintsetseg Myagmardulam of Mongolia before taking a 14-12
decision over home nation boxer Alexandra Kuleshova of Russia in
semifinal action. Esparza dropped a slim 10-8 decision to her
second straight Russian foe, Svetlana Gnevanova, in the
championship bout to win a silver medal.
Heavyweight Joseph Williams (Queens, N.Y.) took home a silver
medal as well, advancing to the championship bout at the Olympic
Test Event in London, England. Williams earned his first victory
of the event on opening day, taking a decision over a home
nation boxer as well, as he defeated Great Britain’s Simon
Valilly, 15-11, on Thursday. Williams added a second victory to
his win total on Saturday, defeating Kamran Mehdiyev of
Azerbaijan, 17-10 to advance on to the finals. Unfortunately, an
injury kept Williams from competing in the final round contest
on Sunday and he returns to the United States with a silver
Four male boxers joined Esparza on the medal stand at the World
Cup event in Russia with lightweight Toka Kahn Clary
(Providence, R.I.), welterweight Errol Spence (Desoto, Texas),
heavyweight Jordan Shimmell (Hudsonville, Mich.) and super
heavyweight Laron Mitchell (San Francisco, Calif.) all taking
Kahn Clary, Spence and Shimmell all opened the tournament with
quarterfinal victories, but each fell to Russia foes in
semifinal action. Kahn Clary dropped an 18-10 decision to Ruslan
Kamilov, 2012 Olympian Spence lost a 12-12 tiebreaker to Sukhrob
Shidaev, and Shimmell was defeated by an 8-4 margin by Vladimir
Lokaychuk. Mitchell lost his tournament opener in semifinal
action to Russia’s Ilya Rudenko.
The World Cup squad traveled to Ukraine on Monday where they
will face their national team in dual action.
In London, female middleweight Franchon Crews (Baltimore, Md.)
lost her semifinal contest to another home nation opponent,
falling 14-12 to Great Britain’s Savannah Marshall. Male super
heavyweight Lenroy “Cam” Thompson dropped his semifinal contest
as well, losing 15-8 to Greece’s Evgenios Lazaridis.
The Olympic Test Event squad is currently en route back to
the United States.
USA Boxing National Coach Joe Zanders (Long Beach, Calif.) and
Gloria Peek (Norfolk, Va.) led the athletes into action in
London with Jose Martinez (Bryan, Texas) serving as Team
Manager. Ken Porter (Akron, Ohio), Ed Rivas (Abilene, Texas) and
Everette Elliston (Denver Colo.) are coaching the team at the
World Cup of Petroleum Countries and USA vs. Ukraine Dual with
Bruce Kawano (Pearl City, Hawaii) serving as the Technical
Advisor, and Ken Buffington (Marshalltown, Iowa) joining the
squad as Team Manager.
Olympic Test Event, London, England
Sunday, November 27- Finals
U.S. heavyweight Joseph Williams was forced to withdraw from his
final round bout due to injury
Saturday, November 26- Semifinals
165 lbs/female: Savannah Marshall, GBR, dec. Franchon Crews,
Baltimore, Md./USA, 14-12
201 lbs/male: Joseph Williams, Queens, N.Y./USA dec. Kamran
Mehdiyev, AZE, 17-10
201+ lbs/male: Evgenios Lazaridis, GRE, dec. Lenroy "Cam"
Thompson, Lenexa, Kansas/USA, 15-8
World Cup of Petroleum Countries, Surgut, Russia
Sunday, November 27 - Finals
112 lbs/female: Svetlana Gnevanova, RUS, dec. Marlen Esparza,
Houston, Texas/USA, 10-8
Saturday, November 26 - Semifinals
112 lbs/female: Marlen Esparza, Houston, Texas/USA dec.
Alexandra Kuleshova, RUS, 14-12
132 lbs/male: Ruslan Kamilov dec. Toka Kahn Clary, Providence,
152 lbs/male: Sukhrob Shidaev, RUS, dec. Errol Spence, Desoto,
201 lbs/male: Vladimir Lokaychuk, RUS, dec. Jordan Shimmell,
Hudsonville, Mich./USA, 8-4
201+ lbs/male: Ilya Rudenko, RUS, dec. Laron Mitchell, San
Francisco, Calif./USA, 8-3.